A Chinese navy ship entered into the contiguous zone of Japan near the Senkaku Islands on June 8, 2016 and into the Japanese territorial sea on June 15, 2016. The Japanese cabinet reported that the purposes of these actions are still being analyzed. The Chinese army also entered the northern part of India on June 9, 2016. In the South China Sea the Chinese have been building facilities, and on Woody Island, one of the Paracel Islands, missiles might be positioned. Through not only the building of military facilities but also the development of resort facilities China might send large numbers of its citizens on the disputed islands. China’s effective control in the South China Sea has been strengthened very quickly.
Since the Chinese effective control in the South China Sea has gradually been strengthened, China has slowly been expanding its military power into the East China Sea. The most common Japanese analysis of the military actions by China is that Japan be provoked to start attacking Chinese vessels or military aircraft. Therefore, Japan’s Self-Defense Force should not be tempted by China’s provocative actions. This is a quite understandable; however, if Japan does not take any steps, China would escalate its actions. China for instance might send soldiers camouflaged as fishers on the Senkaku Islands on bad weather to take refuge from a storm. It would be difficult for Japan to get them off the island without using force. In case of using weapons, China most likely criticizes Japan and appeals to the world. Thus, the future might hold very risky decisions.
China’s economy is said to be worsening, and there might be a high rate of unemployment in big Chinese cities. Since the Chinese society is a two class society, huge frustrations could be vented against the Chinese government. Additionally, power conflicts within the Chinese Communist Party seem to be stronger and clearer of late. To hold and keep stable political power, Chinese political leaders, independent of who holds most power, might need using military power to divert these frustrations from the domestic to an international arena. There is no sign of economic improvement in China and in other nations; hence, stagnant economics could remain for quite a while.
Economic problems and its related unemployment, the two class-society, a large income gap and the oppression of minorities might increase the level of frustration. Whether or not China’s leaders control the army, domestic frustrations need to be dispelled. Hence, China’s military actions might possibly escalate. If the Chinese political leadership could not manage these domestic issues, China could fall apart. Otherwise, China needs to divert its folk’s frustrations from within to without and to show strong political stances towards abroad. The possibility of unexpected international incidents could grow. For the time being this unstable situation seems to remain.